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Close up view of a plate of cilantro chicken - chunks of chicken in a yellow-green sauce, served over rice.
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5 from 3 votes

Cilantro Chicken

Cilantro Chicken is one of the very first recipes I ever created on this blog - inspired by a favourite dish at a now-defunct Indian restaurant in Minneapolis
Prep Time15 minutes
55 minutes
Total Time1 hour 10 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Gluten-free, Indian
Servings: 6 People
Calories: 499kcal
Author: Marie Porter



  • 8 Garlic Cloves peeled and chopped
  • 4 Inch Chunk of ginger peeled and chopped
  • 4 tablespoon Lemon Juice
  • 2 tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 4 lbs Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs and/or Breasts chopped into large chunks

Cilantro “Pesto”:

  • 2 Large Tomatoes
  • 2 Fresh Fresno Chilis seeded and chopped
  • 6 cups Cilantro packed
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin
  • 2 teaspoon Turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon Coriander Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Crushed Chilies
  • 2 teaspoon Fennel Seeds


  • 2 tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 cup Plain Greek Yogurt*
  • Salt


  • Put all marinade ingredients into food processor, and process till it’s a thick paste. Pour over chicken, mix to coat, and marinate in the fridge for a few hours or overnight.
  • I don’t bother to clean out the food processor (more flavor!), before adding tomatoes and fresno chilis. Process till well chopped, then add cilantro a bit at a time to make a thick pesto. Once all cilantro is added and chopped well, mix in remaining spices. Cover and refrigerate till needed.
  • Once chicken is properly marinated, put remaining 2 tablespoon olive oil in a large pan. With heat on medium-high, Add chicken – marinade and all – and brown on all sides.
  • Add cilantro mix and cook – stirring frequently – for another 10 minutes or so. Reduce heat to low, cover pan, and cook another 20 minutes or so.
  • Add Greek yogurt, stirring till it’s all incorporated, and cook - uncovered - another 15 minutes. Season with salt to taste.
  • Serve on a bed of rice, and ideally with a good amount of naan! (Naan, of course, would render it “no longer gluten free”)


To make this dairy free, substitute coconut cream for the Greek Yogurt


Calories: 499kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 63g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 289mg | Sodium: 300mg | Potassium: 1105mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1735IU | Vitamin C: 37mg | Calcium: 101mg | Iron: 4mg